Chimera Book One: The Righteous & The Lost
“Haunted by their pasts, a crew of thieves is hired for a covert mission in the midst of a galaxy being ripped apart by an interstellar holy war. If they want to survive – much less succeed – they must navigate hostile worlds, vengeful aliens, a deranged demon, and betrayal from within.”
“‘I’m not saying there’s no god. I just don’t think it’s him.’”
― Tyler Ellis, Chimera
Science fiction on the level of Star Wars, a heist for an artifact that is practically legend, and gods who walk among us. All wrapped up in a beautifully illustrated package.
Chimera was originally a webcomic written and illustrated by Tyler Ellis. Since, it has been published digitally by Amazon and available on Kindle. As of June 20, however, the first six issues will be in print in Chimera Book One: The Righteous & The Lost. This collection is what I had the pleasure to read!
So there’s really five main characters, although only four of them are the mentioned thieves. The other is a priestess of a god who doesn’t really seem to be given a name. She and the other priestesses call him “Father” and he is referenced to as the “one true god”, as the other gods (who are named) are called false and their worshipers called heretics. Unlike the other priestesses, she doubts the holy war and the crusades, yet she is His highest priestess.
Then there’s the band of thieves. One was the god’s “Golden Champion”, who symbolized peace and protection. She also began to question the motives of the crusades and the bloodshed that came with them, but unlike the priestess, she ran away from her place and title. With her is her brother, a man who’d wanted to escape the life he was forced to live, and ended up escaping through unconventional methods. Another member is a translator, and the reason they carry the lusted after Chimera. The final member seems to be a mercenary of sorts, and the reason why the four end up together. He seeks out the translator, who seems to be an old friend, and his introduction is one of my favorite lines:
“There’s a brother who’s balls-deep in killer robots, and a sister who’s the lapdog of god himself. Who do ya wanna rescue first?”
They are searching for a looking glass - only five or six exist, and are hidden in dangerous, practically-suicidal places. The prize for retrieving it is high, and perhaps with it, they can stop being outcasts and escape the war and “god” entirely.
It’s an amazing story, with much more to follow it.
Writing Quality ❤❤❤❤❤
Chimera is written in an interesting manner. It begins with the current point in time, as the band of thieves are working on finding the looking glass. However, much of the story is written through flashbacks. Every few pages, a bit of history is shown, whether it be about the main characters or related to the gods. This style was not distracting from the main story for me, and the connections between present day and the past flowed together really well.
Image/Illustration Quality ❤❤❤❤♡
I personally found the artwork in Chimera to be beautiful. It’s a bit stylized, but I’ve always loved that type of artwork. In addition, the end of the book has a collection of pin-ups of the different characters - a few of them are covers for the digitally published Chimera comics on Amazon. The only thing I really didn’t like about the illustrations were that sometimes the faces seemed drawn very...off. Usually, they are done very well, from all angles, but there are a few panels that seem awkward.
Character Development ❤❤❤❤❤
Because of the way the story is written, the flashbacks provide a lot of backstory to each of the characters. All of the characters are fleshed out well this way, and the reader learns each of their motivations as these glimpses of the past occur. More than motivation, these also give a lot of depth to the characters.
“Couldn’t Put It Down”-ness ❤❤❤❤❤
I literally could not put this down. The copy I received was a little difficult to read because of its size in comparison to the pages in the Kindle Reader. I struggled a bit with that, and had to zoom in quite a bit at times, but I won’t count against this since the official copy is in print, after all. On top of that, the comic is free to read online - I just wish I would have known that sooner. Otherwise, I just kept reading. It’s not an extremely long comic, as the current page count for the webcomic is just under 200 pages. But I did not even think about going to sleep until I was done reading it. It held my interest from beginning to end.
I’ve seen others compare the science fiction of it on the same level of Star Wars, but that doesn’t mean the story is anywhere the same. The characters’ main enemy is a spirit that calls himself the “one true god”, and there are a lot of references, include the crusades and his burning form, that lead to the assumption that he may be somewhat based on the Christian God and the history surrounding Him. History repeats itself, but instead of just Europe, it’s the whole galaxy.
Overall Rating ❤❤❤❤❤
Interested in Chimera?
Check out Tyler Ellis' webcomic, updated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Preorder the hardcover copy of Chimera Book One: The Righteous & The Lost (Released June 20)
Check out the Kindle editions, $2.99 for each issue, or free if you have a Comixology Unlimited membership.
Keep on reading,
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